OTA Education Foundation doles out five student scholarships

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TORONTO, Ont. — The OTA Education Foundation has awarded five students with prestigious scholarships under the group’s Endowed Scholarship Program.

The Bison Transport Scholarship has been awarded to Kevin McIlvenna, a resident of Smiths Falls, Ont. who is currently enrolled in his second year of a Bachelor of Commerce program at Queen’s University in Kingston. McIlvenna earned an overall average mark of more than 90% for his first year at university, and his volunteer work includes supervising kindergarten students on a weekly basis last year, tutoring high school students and coaching tennis for four years. The scholarship is awarded to one post-secondary student who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to his/her academic studies and community, and who is enrolled in full-time studies in a transportation, logistics, human resources, or business program at a recognized university or college in Canada.

The Erb Group of Companies “Service to Community” Scholarship was awarded to Melanie Weinstock who recently commenced a three-year diploma program at Seneca College’s program in Child and Youth Work.

“While struggling with a learning disability, Melanie learned to find her hidden strengths and passions outside of school and discovered that helping other people and caring for younger children was her calling,” said OTA Education Foundation officials in a release.

Weinstock has been a regular and long-term volunteer at a geriatric centre, and has supervised children at a local youth program. She hopes to ultimately help young people in schools, treatment centres and/or hospitals by sharing her experiences with them. The Erb Group of Companies “Service to Community” Scholarship is awarded to a first-year post-secondary student enrolled in a recognized college or university who demonstrates a commitment to his/her community, through his/her involvement in community and/or charitable volunteer work.

The J.D. Smith “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship was awarded to Dylan Stafford, a resident of Caledon East, Ont. who is now attending Queen’s University where he is enrolled in a Bachelor of Economics Program. Stafford is a graduate of St. Andrew’s College of Aurora where he excelled both in academics and extra-curricular activities. Stafford has worked as a reporter for SACTV, a camp counsellor at Camp Otterdale, has participated in his school’s Student ITI Committee, Admissions Club, and the Environmental Sustainability Task Force, has acted as referee or athlete in a number of different sports, and has completed 281 hours of community service, in addition to winning several academic awards. The J.D. Smith and Sons “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship recognizes one student each year who is the child of a parent or parents who work in the Ontario trucking industry and who demonstrates a commitment to his/her community, school or other volunteer undertaking through exemplary leadership qualities.

The OTA Allied Trades Division College Scholarship was awarded to Kristin Knill, a resident of Brantford, Ont. who is now attending Niagara College where she is enrolled in her second year of a Fitness and Health Promotion program. Upon obtaining her diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion, Knill plans to attend the University of Guelph-Humber to attain an Honours Degree in Applied Kinesiology. After attaining her degree from the University of Guelph-Humber, Knill plans to continue to Chiropractic College to study to become a Doctor of Chiropractic.

The OTA Allied Trades Division University Scholarship was awarded to Rebecca Shaw, a resident of Newmarket, Ont. who is now attending Trent University where she is enrolled in her second year in joint-major degree program in Sociology and Cultural Studies. During her first year of university, Shaw was nominated for an Essay award in Cultural Studies. She hopes to attain a minimum mark of 80% in each of her courses for the remainder of her program, and has set a goal of graduating with an Honours Degree. As a student who has to pay for her entire university education, Shaw says she appreciates the financial support of the OTA Allied Trades Division and the Education Foundation.

The OTA Allied Trades Division scholarship is awarded each year to one university and one college student who has completed at least one year of post-secondary education and who has demonstrated a strong commitment to his/her education.

“The applications for this year’s endowed scholarships were outstanding,” said Michael Burke of the Infrastructure Heath and Safety Association and long-term member of the Foundation’s Selection Committee. “We really had our work cut out for us this year with so many deserving students submitting very impressive applications.”

“I continue to marvel at the quality of the students applying for OTA Education Foundation scholarships each year” continues Barrie Montague, past vice-president of the Ontario Trucking Association, and member of the Selection Committee. “This year was no exception, and while it was difficult in some cases to select just one recipient, it was certainly worth our effort.”

Dave Flett, former director for the OTA Education Foundation is also a member of the 2010 Selection Committee. The OTA Education Foundation’s Endowed Scholarship program is funded entirely by one-time contributions by the organizations for which the scholarships are named. The eligibility and assessment criteria are determined jointly between the endowed fund contributors and the Foundation, who also administers the scholarship program.

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